I recently shared my intentions of becoming a surrogate on social media; I genuinely was not expecting the reaction I received. There was so much love and positivity surrounding a topic that is not really openly discussed, which was fantastic to see.
However, with the positivity comes the negativity - I have had people advise me that I'm being "ridiculous" and "hormonal" to name but a few. People have told me that I would regret it and that I should seriously think about it.
Firstly, this decision was never a rash one believe me! This intention has been approximately 15 years in the making; I knew that I wanted to be a surrogate before I knew that I wanted to be a mother myself. So please trust me when I say that I have most certainly "thought about it" and I have done my fair amount of research too.
Secondly, I am not doing this for the "money". Contrary to popular belief, there is no money to be made in UK surrogacy. In the UK it is not legal to make a profit from being a surrogate; intended parents are expected to cover the surrogates expenses, such as loss of earnings, travel costs etc. This is to ensure that the surrogate is not left out of pocket during the process.
Now, if I was in the USA I would be looking at a "compensation package" of around $40,000. To me, compensation is given when something bad happens like an injury; surrogacy is not that - it is giving the gift of a child to a family. Plus, I do believe that if you are doing it for money then you are doing it for completely the wrong reasons. I hate talking about money at the best of times and would love to do this without having expenses covered, but realistically I have my own family to pay for and support which I cannot do if I'm out of pocket. I won't be making any money but I won't be losing any either.
Another thing; to all of those people who have said to me "how could you give your own child away?" - I'm not. Personally it is not something that I could do; hats off to those ladies who do use their own eggs though as it truly is a remarkable thing. I actually did look into egg donation before but decided that it wasn't for me.
Essentially there are two types of surrogacy; traditional surrogacy (TS) and gestational surrogacy (GS). Traditional surrogacy is considered to be the simplest of the two and the surrogate mother's eggs are used. Gestational surrogacy is when IVF is used with either the intended mother's eggs or with donor eggs.
The surrogacy route that I plan to go down is gestational as I feel that this is truly the better option for myself and my family.
A lot of people have asked me why I am doing this and if I will find it hard to "give the baby away". My answer to that, is how can I compare the length of a pregnancy to a lifetime of love and happiness a child can bring to a family? Since having my daughter, who am I to deny anyone of this amazing right to be a parent; it truly is the most amazing feeling.
I'm only 28 and I feel that my body has plenty of years left in me to provide a child for someone who is desperate enough that they will place their sole trust, into someone they barely know, to carry their unborn child; to help that baby grow and to make the correct decisions during the pregnancy. These parents are putting everything into their surrogate - the intended mother will never feel her child kicking from the inside or the movement that baby makes in the womb.
To call a surrogate "brave" I can understand, however I truly believe that it is the intended parents who are the brave ones. It is me that they would be trusting to ensure that I keep myself healthy during the pregnancy, to get anything and everything checked out, to not feel their child kick. I don't know how they can do it; for me they are the brave ones. Their love and need for a child outweighs everything and they are prepared to sacrifice so much which is something that I will always admire.
In regards to "giving the baby away"; I will never be giving the baby away. I will be giving the baby back. Back to their parents where they will be loved and so wanted.
I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with my second child and, provided the rest of this pregnancy and labour goes well, I will be looking to start my surrogacy journey next year.
I will be sure to update you all each step of the way!